University of Arizona Law 2019 graduates gathered at Centennial Hall for convocation on Saturday, May 12, 2019. Dean Marc Miller welcomed all friends and family who were in attendance to celebrate graduates from JD, JD for non-U.S. Lawyers, Master of Laws (LLM), Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) and Master of Legal Studies (MLS) programs.
Miller asked three things from the graduates:
1.) Insist on the search for truth.
“You are called to bring a fidelity to truth, knowledge, and logic—and a commitment to justice and equality, however contested and complex the meaning in a particular case or place—to the public square,” said Miller. “To the political domain. To our own university village. To the digital domain. Bringing the ideals that drive you and our profession to those domains is and will be a profound challenge. Please take it head on.”
2. ) Demand the ends of justice.
“Don’t confuse the rule of law with merely defending the status quo,” said Miller. “Recognize the power and inequality embodied in existing law, our rules, our procedures and our institutions. It is our greatest and most honorable tradition to create and sustain the institutions and processes that reflect our society’s commitment to peaceful and orderly progress—not merely by accepting the status quo, but by challenging it and by improving it. “
3. ) Stay engaged.
“Show up for your clients and co-workers. Show up for your community, as you figure out how to best serve it. Show up for your friends in distress, as well as in their times of celebration. Show up even if there is no free pizza.”
Angela Woolridge (‘02), incoming president of the Law College Association, welcomed graduates to the alumni community by encouraging them to, “Find a passion that gives you purpose, and do it.”
Outgoing Student Bar Association president and 2019 class gift chair Adelina Gomez took the stage to announce the results of the class giving campaign: $2,500 raised from graduates to go toward the Arizona Law Fund.
Student Speakers Molly Mahoney (JD), Daniel Shudlick (JD) and Ryuu Uchiha (MLS), who were elected to speak by their peers, reflected on their experiences at Arizona Law, thanked those who helped them cross the finish line, and encouraged each other on their future achievements.
“Let’s go out and accomplish our dreams,” said Uchiha. “Or else someone else will hire us to complete theirs.”
Judge Raner C. Collins (’75), senior United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, delivered the keynote address. He shared thoughtful and practical advice to guide the graduates throughout their careers in law, but in the end, boiled it down to this core lesson:
“Don’t be a jerk.”
Collins also urged graduates to not sit idly by as the events of the world unfold around them. He asked them to take a stand and be involved.
“Don’t blame the ills of the world on others if you’ve done nothing to try and change the world yourself,” said Collins.